Tuesday, 1 November 2022

Kremer Watercolours




Kremer Pigmente has been providing a huge range of pigments for many purposes since 1977. They 
stock pigments, ready-made colours, mediums, binders, glues, gold and guilding materials and many more. I visited a store in New York many years ago but they were out of stock of the colours I was most interested in trying. I was delighted to be contacted to try out some of their hand-made watercolour sets.

There are 132 individual watercolours shown on the website, including a number of Iriodin glitter and pearl colours, and a number of boxed sets including an Earth set, a Pearl Luster set, an Illumination set, a gold Retouching set and other interesting options. 

The sets are in black metal palettes with the Kremer logo. They have 14 colours. The first I'll show here is the Watercolour Set Gray. Originally designed for retouching photos, artists have enjoyed this set too. It includes single pigment blacks and whites but also a number of mixes - all the greys - which is unusual as most Kremer watercolours are made with a single pigment. The warm greys are mixtures of Zinc White and Raw Umber and the cool greys are mixtures of either Zinc White and Furnace Black or Kremer White and Furnace Black.

One side of the enclosed card has the hand-painted colour swatches and numbers and the other has the numbers with the pigment information.

Since I don't often work with black and white pigments, I find this an intriguing set, and will eventually test it out on toned paper, working with limited number of paints for each study.

The colours are as follows.

Kremer Watercolours: Titanium White Rutile, Zinc White,
Kremer White (pigment is PW12 - Zirconium white, C.I. 77995), Warm Grey No 1, Warm Grey No 2.


Kremer Watercolours: Warm Grey No 5, Warm Grey No 6, Cool Gray No 1,
Cool Grey No 2, Cool Gray No 5.

Kremer Watercolours: Cool Gray No 6, Bideford Black,
Bone Black, Furnace Black.

Watercolour landscape Set - Small, contains 14 half pans of a really interesting range of colours. It was inspired by the palette of the 19th Century landscape paintings. I'll add more detail about each colour, thanks to information from Eva from Kremer, below. 

Due to the pigments choices, it is not a general purpose set as there isn't a bright cool red, so it isn't possible to make bright purples, however they are not usually needed in a landscape set. It would also work well for Urban Sketching. See image below.

The colours are a little less bright and many are more opaque than the modern colours I'd normally use so it would be an interesting set to use on toned paper. 

Italian Gold Ochre Light, Raw Sienna, Venetian Red, Burnt Umber and Green Earth from Verona  are all earth pigments. 'Natural earths have a larger particle size than synthetic pigments and every earth colour is an individual mix of natural minerals. Hiding power (opacity) and tinting strength can very depending on the type of earth and its composition. Raw Sienna and green earths are typically transparent pigments, while burnt umber can have more hiding power, though it will never be as opaque as synthetic iron oxide'. (See Caput Mortuum below.)

Italian Gold Ochre Light is a lovely yellow ochre colour and painted out beautifully. Raw Sienna was a little more difficult to get smooth - interesting that these are both PY43. I'd have to explore how they mix as I often use a PBr7 Raw Sienna for a glow in the sky. Venetian Red is more pink than usual, almost like a more gentle and more transparent Indian red. 

Kremer Watercolours: Italian Gold Ochre Light, Raw Sienna Italian, Venetian Red,
Burnt Umber Dark Brown, Green Earth from Verona.

The set was originally created using only the pigments that were typical of the 19th century, but with the restriction on chromate pigments, barium chromate has been replaced with Intensive Yellow (PY159). Intensive yellow is an 'inorganic zirconium-praseodymium-silicate, which is inert and non-toxic'.

The red in the set is Vermillion (PR106). 'Synthetic mercury sulphide was produced since the 8th century and has been the only permanent and intense red until the first alternatives came up in the 19th Century. It is a very heavy pigment with strong hiding power. Typical for vermilion (and natural cinnabar) the colour of this pigment depends on the particle size. Finer particles are more orange-red, which later ones are darker. The earlier settling of the larger, darker particles can also be observed ed in this paint during use.'

The yellow and red are a little more dull than in most modern sets and would suit landscape painting. 

The greens would mix with the three yellows to create a range of useful foliage greens. Cobalt Blue and Cobalt Green pigments were discovered in the early 18th century. Both the Cobalt Green Bluish and the Cobalt Dark Blue have a strong tendency to granulate in watercolours.

'Chrome Oxide Green was also discovered in the 19th Century but has not lost its importance ever since. This pigment is very fine and has excellent hidden power, but its slightly broken green shade makes it ideal for depicting nature and landscapes.'

Paris Blue, often knows as Prussian Blue, Milori Blue or Berlin Blue, was discovered early in the 18th Century. It was 'one of the first pigments produced industrially and it did not lose its importance throughout the 19th Century.' Is a very dark intense blue pigment that gets greener if used in glazes. 'Paris Blue was used traditionally in mixtures with yellow ochres, iron orchids or chromate yellows to achieve green shades. It is not recommended to mix it with white pigments as these can cause it to fade.' It is a deeper cool blue than phthalo blue. It is also less staining so a bit more forgiving than phthalo blue. 
Kremer Watercolours: Intensive Yellow, Vermilion, Cobalt Green Bluish A,
Chrome Oxide Green, Paris Blue

It is unusual to see a Cobalt Dark Blue rather than Ultramarine (discovered around 1826) in a curated set. It's a lovely warm blue colour, but an expensive pigment. As mentioned, Cobalt Blues and Greens were discovered in the early 18th Century.
Zinc White is included in this set instead of the toxic lean white that was in use until the last 18th Century. It is a semi-transparent pigment to it is more suitable for mixing then the opaque and dominant titanium White.
Furnace Black or Lamp Black is a very fine pigment with high tinting strength that can be used for transparent glazes as well as more opaque layers. Lamp black mixes well with other colours too.

Caput Mortuum 'is a synthetic red iron oxide with a typical grey-ish violet hue. It is the only synthetic iron oxide that has been produced and used even before the 19th Century. This pigment is courser and more brownish than other synthetic iron oxides and this gives interesting granulation effects in watercolours. Caput Mortuum can be used to depict rocks, bark or shadows. It can be used to darken other colours or mix brown greys.' It can also be used with Cobalt Dark Blue and Italian Red Ochre Light for an earth triad.
Kremer Watercolours: Cobalt Dark Blue, Zinc White,
Furnace Black, Caput Mortuum Violet.


The Saga Bar, Chippendale, using the Kremer Landscape Set.

Here is a sketch of a fascinating doorway using just the Landscape Set. It was started on location, where I took this palette to see what it would be like to work with more opaque colours and without my usual modern pigments. It was finished in the studio to work with all that detail.




The third set is Watercolour Set Blue - 14 full pans of blues, including some rare and special colours.

PB30 is not a pigment number I remember seeing before, but azurite my not always be given a pigment number. It's a very granulating blue to slightly greenish blue. The two versions are quite different. Lapis Lazuli is a very expensive pigment that varies a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer. This is  areasonably rich version, though not as rich as the lovely Ultramarine Very Dark. Genuine Indigo (Natural Blue) is not considered lightfast, but it is always great to see the real pigment, even if you only use it in a sketchbook.

Kremer Watercolours: Blue Verditer, Asurite MP Sky-Blue Light, Lapis Lazuli from Chile,
Indigo Indian Genuine, Ultramarine Blue Very Dark.


YInMn Blue is another rare colour. This pigment was discovered in 2009 and I've written about it here. This is a lovely version - a little warmer than ultramarine. Zirconium is another rare colour in the watercolour world. It bronzes if used too thick, but has amazing granulation.

Kremer Watercolours: Ultramarine Blue Light, Ultramarine Violet Reddish, Paris Blue,
YInMn Blue, Zirconium Cerulean Blue

These are all cobalt colours made with PB28 or PB36. Gorgeous and granulating, they are lovely to explore. 

Kremer Watercolours: Cobalt Blue Pale, Cobalt Blue Light,
Cobalt Blue Turquoise Light, Cobalt Blue Turquoise Dark.


I also received samples of Yellow, Greenish (PY129), which is a synthetic-organic azo-pigment. I find PY129 an interesting option as a cool yellow in mixing, as I don't usually include a high chroma cool yellow in my palettes. It is also a pigment that is useful to paint the glow of light through foliage or to mix with blues to create more greens. 
Red Bole (PR102) was made specifically for another Kremer set - a Gold Retouching Colours set that also includes a number of sparkling colours. Red Bole is traditionally used in water gilding to make red poliment, which was layered under the gold leaf to make it easier to burnish and to give a warm feel tot he gold. 'Red Bole is a natural red earth colour with a high clay content. This type of earth is rarely used in paints, because its clay content makes this earth a little bit sticky or smeary'. The Gold Retouching Set was created with colours 'chosen to allow the conservator the widest range of shades from yellow to red to imitate the poliment colours that may occur in an historic gilded object'. So it wasn't intended for painting, but it a lovely earth orange-red watercolour colour.
Kremer Watercolours: Yellow Greenish, Bole Red.

Happy painting :-)

Tuesday, 18 October 2022

Peerless Transparent Watercolours

I mentioned the Peerless watercolours in a blog post in March 2014 - Travelling Light with Colour but I haven't written about them in detail before. I was contacted by the new owners of the company and sent out a couple of updated sets, so I've swatched out all the 60-odd colours I have and show them here. 

I'll First created in 1885, Nicholson's Peerless Watercolour sheets were founded by Chaz Nicholson. He had found a convenient way to hand-tint black and white photos. These watercolours are dried watercolour dyes on sheets of paper. A damp brush activates them.

Artists also enjoyed the bright colours of these colour sheets and a set of 15 was created in 1902 that is unchanged today. That is the 'Complete Edition' that I bought in 2014. It contains the original instructions from when they were first made available. I'll show that set first.

The 'Complete Edition' set contains:

(Note that the Orange Yellow from my 2014 set is different to the Orange Yellow from the 2022 Sidekick set.)

Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Brilliant Yellow, Deep Yellow, Orange Yellow (2014), 
Flesh Tint, Geranium Pink


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Japonica Scarlet, Royal Crimson, 
Mahogany Brown, Sepia Brown, Light Green.


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Dark Green, Sky Blue, Deep Blue (2014), 
Wisteria Violet, Pearl Grey.

One of the tricky things about this set of watercolours is that they are presented in a booklet. You flip through the pages to find the colour you want, then use it with a damp brush. But when you flip to the next colour the damp papers stick together. To get around this, I cut little section from each colour sheet and pasted them onto a separate 'palette' of paper.

The company was bought by new owners a couple of years ago. There are 80 colours available in total and the new owners have come up with other ways the present these colours. The latest is the Sidekick. This set of 45 colours are set up in booklets with serrated sheets. There are five colours along each page and the spiral binding allows you to open the book to your choice of a yellow, red, blue, green and brown, for example, to use for one painting. The colour sheets are much smaller, but the process of painting is more straightforward. Replacement sets of colour sheets are available.

The 45 colours in this set are


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Alizarine Red, Blood Red, 
Scarlet Vermillion, Nectar, Scarlet Lake.


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Chrome Orange, Chrome Yellow, Orange Yellow, 
Red Golden Hair, Ripe Peach.


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Amber Yellow, Daffodil Yellow, 
Gamboge, Marigold, Yellow Ochre


Peerless Transparent Watercolour: Grass Green, Hunter's Green, 
Mountain Green, Olive Green, Viridian Green.


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Butterfly Wing Blue, Cobalt, 
Neptune Blue, Peacock Blue, Turquoise Blue.


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Amethyst, Autumn's Indigo, 
Heliotrope, Mauve, Wisteria Violet.


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Bubble gum Pink, Geranium Pink, 
Magenta, Mixed Berry, Lip Smacking Pink.


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Bismark Brown, Burnt Umber, 
Ecru, Sepia Brown, Warm Sepia.

The black and various greys are not very different, even in real life. (And Peerless Jane's Grey is certainly not my version!)


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Black, Jane's Grey, Pearl Grey, 
Lamp Black, Spotting Black Opaque.

Along with the Sidekick, I was also sent the set of 'Summer Palette' colours, which contains full sheets of Gamboge Yellow, Ripe Peach, Nectar, Jackqueminot Red (see below), Mixed Berry, Mauve, Deep Blue (see below), Butterfly Wing Blue, Mountain Green, Olive Green, Bismarck Brown and Neutral Tint (see below). Also shown here are a couple of colours I bought as single sheets in 2014.


Peerless Transparent Watercolours: Jackquiminot Red, Rose Red, 
Deep Blue (2022), Bismarck Brown (2014), Neutral Tint.


These are an interesting way to use watercolours in a sketchbook. I haven't tested them for lightfastness as dye-based pigments are not usually considered lightfast. Nor have I included pigment information as there is none available. However if you want to work with bright colours and a very minimal setup in a sketchbook, these are a real interesting option to consider.


Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Rockwell Self-Evolving Watercolours from Canada.


Rockwell is a high quality pigment supplier, with 32 years of experience. They have recently created a number of ranges of watercolours. I was given dot-samples of these 'Magic' self-evolving watercolours to try. They contain a mixture of pigments, minerals and plant colours. They claim to be lightfast 'under museum conditions', which requires thinking about if you plan to use them for work to be framed and hung in normal household conditions.

On rough paper, they create some amazing effects - as do most granulating watercolours of course. That is one of the joys of this medium. These are painted on medium watercolour paper so show less of what is possible.

I haven't explored these in depth, but have heard that many people enjoy working with them.

Rockwell also make a set of 35 Classical watercolours, a Natural Beauty range and a Masters G12 range that includes China Red Mirror Cinnabar, made 'using the highest grade cinnabar', and a lovely looking Cajun Lapis Lazuli, along with acrylics and oils. You can read more about Rockwell Art Supplies, Canada, here.

I don't know what the F7 and F5 refer to, but have copied them from the website information.

Rockwell self-evolving Mineral Watercolour - Alexandria Diamond Purple, Palaiba Diamond Blue, 
Royal Purple and Onat Diamond Yellow.

Rockwell self-evolving Mineral Watercolour - Limugreen Brown, Valentine Purple, 
Cleopatra Green, Obsidian Brown

Rockwell self-evolving Mineral Watercolour - Lapis Brown, Opal Yellow, 
Magic Wizard, Morai Witch.


I find it fascinating exploring granulating pigments. What is also interesting is that sometimes, even if you mix the same single pigment colours, you don't get the same effects as is possible with commercial pre-mixed paints. Watercolour has a mind of its own :-)


Happy painting.


Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Kakimori brass nib

I love it when a company comes up with a new design for an old tool! 

The Kakimori company has done that with the nib, creating bullet-shaped nibs in stainless steel or brass, along with a lovely design in glass that can be fitted to a pen holder. The stainless steel nib is supposed to be slightly finer than the brass nib.

They have created 4 pen holders too, and will probably add to the range. You can see all the designs on their website here.  You can also see the gorgeous ink bottles, glass pens and beautiful made-to-order notebooks. 

They ship internationally.

I've used dip pens for ever! I use them for writing and drawing, for calligraphic lettering and for masking fluid. They must be held at the correct angle to work, and can easily blob or blot if not used with care.

This new nib doesn't have a right and wrong side. Changes in the line width are created by changing the angle of the nib to the paper. The steeper the eagle, the finer the lines. Working flatter gives very broad strokes. This nib should be easier for left-handers to use too.

I think this will be a really fun nib to use for drawing, but also for applying masking fluid and even watercolours. 

The nib holders that are available are lovely, but it will also fit into some nib holders you may already have - such as the Koh-I.Noor and the Tachikawa. 

I've created a YouTube video to show the brass nib in use.

They are available from Kaimori.com in Japan or internationally, or from Larrypost or Bookbindersdesign in Australia or from StLouisArtSupply in the US.

Friday, 24 June 2022

My favourite all-round fountain pen

I've used fountain pens for writing and sketching since I was a teenager. I go into a lot of detail about them in my Travel Sketching course, where I devote a whole lesson to their use, and have written a number of blog posts about these gorgeous tools. What I most often get asked is 'what would my recommended pen for sketching if money were no object'. Now - pen prices can go sky high and my collection is more about utility than collectability so I haven't really explored the amazing decorative pens in lacquer, gold and other precious metals that are available. Compared to those, my pens are quite humble. However I do prefer a gold nib, which raises the price, but I love the smooth writing experience that a gold nib provides. 

Pilot Custom Heritage 92 (photo from pilot pen.com.au)
The other characteristics that I enjoy are large ink capacity and comfort in the hand. 

I prefer that the pen is not too thick and not too heavy so it can be comfortable to draw with for many hours. 

The Pilot Custom Heritage 92 is just such a pen. I use the F nib in this pen, which gives a fine line with a little flex, but no scratch. While lovely for drawing and sketching, it is also a pen I enjoy writing with. 

It is only available in the clear, the smoky black and the blue models as shown, and I have one of each that I ink up in different colours, usually Brown, Grey and a light grey. It has a piston feed rather than a converter, and a large 1.2ml ink capacity. The pen is comfortable to use with the cap posted or not.






Pilot also makes a custom Heritage 912 that looks similar, but it comes in solid black and has a converter. It is the Pilot CON-70 converter that has a plunger for easy filling, and holds up to 1.1ml of ink. If the Con-70 vac converter appeals, there is also the more rounded body of the Pilot Custom 743 and Pilot Custom 74 to consider. 

Right now, Larrypost in Australia is offering a range of fountain pens at fantastic prices as we approach the end of our financial year. Other great pen sites are Gouletpens.com and Jetpens.com - which specialises in Japanese pens.

I really enjoy Pilot pens. I use the E95s in my diary for everyday writing, and love the Pilot Falcon pens that I wrote about in another post. 

While I almost always use pens in my sketches, I also often use fountain pens in my larger paintings. In this work, completed earlier this year, I drew using the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 pens inked in De Atramentis Document Ink in lighter and darker greys, and painted with watercolour in Jane's Grey and Jane's Black with a very little raw umber and burnt sienna for colour. This mixture of techniques combines my two great loves - drawing and painting.

'Grounded' - ink and watercolour on paper

Other wonderful Japanese pen brands include Sailor, Pelican and Platinum - which I think has the finest nibs available in an UXF (Ultra Extra Fine). While I haven't used Pelican or Platinum at all myself, I do love the super fine EF nibs of my Sailor pens for when I want to draw in really fine detail.

I've posted a number of articles about fountain pens, which I use for writing as well as drawing and sketching. I'll add the links here for convenience.

Favourite pens for sketching (originally 2015, updated 2019, soon to be updated again as some models have changed.) 

Lamy pens 2015 - great pens for writing and sketching 

TWSBI Diamond 580 2018 - huge ink capacity 

My Sketching Tools 2019 shows some other pens too, including the Pilot Heritage Custom 92 that I'd like to talk more about here.

For more on inks for sketching in fountain pens, check my other blog posts.

Packing inks and pens 2015

Fountain Pen and Drawing Inks 2014

Fountain pen inks 2018

Working in Ink 2014

De Atramentis Inks Revisited 2018 (with numerous links to posts about mixing coloured inks)

Happy drawing :-)

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Folio Palette by Art Toolkit

I've written about the Pocket Palette, a number of times before (you can search on my blog to find them all!) The first post was back in 2014 here, and I show a number of variation in my website. 

The idea of a compact sketching palette has always appealed to me, as has the idea of compact kits of all sorts. I love to have my watercolours or pens or tools organised for safe and portable use.

The newest addition to the palette family is the Folio. This palette is the same credit-card design, but this time 13.5 x 8.5cm closed - about the size of a mobile phone. 


It comes with a mix of the original rectangular pans, the tiny half pans, some larger square pans and two larger mixing pans so the number of possible configurations are huge. The mixing pans are really useful, and you'd probably keep those in it, but you might choose to set with up to 18 of the original pans, or 36 tiny pans, 9 large pans or your own combination based on the colours you use most. Part of the fun of a palette like this is deciding how to set it our for yourself!

The folio palette - open.


I've set up the Demi palette with a great 12-colour set, and the Pocket Palette with my 15 Ultimate Mixing Set colours. This credit-card size palette fits perfectly into a Galen leather EDC wallet if you want a compact carry case for it. I love the Galenleather.com products and will write about more of them another time.

The Folio Palette, the Demi Palette and the original business-card sized Pocket Palette.

Happy painting.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

The Affordable Art Fair, Sydney


I have been a little quiet here lately as I am working solidly on a number of new paintings for the first ever Sydney Affordable Art Fair, where I am delighted to exhibiting with Gallery 11:11

We will be exhibiting at the Royal Randwick Racecourse from the 2-5th June, along with over 30 galleries from across Australia. Gallery 11:11 will also be showcasing two of my fellow Sydney artists Kristine Ballard and Rebecca Anne Brady

On behalf of Gallery 11:11, I would like to invite you to the Royal Randwick Racecourse from 2 - 5 June, including the Opening Night. Please click here to register. Each registration is for two people, but passes are limited.

To redeem your digital tickets, simply follow these step-by-step instructions:

  • Click the above link to 'Register'

  • The promo code will have been automatically applied

  • Select their preferred date

  • Select the number of tickets, including children under 16, and click on ‘Register’

  • Fill in their contact details and click on ‘Register’

  • You will then be taken to the confirmation page and the e-ticket will be emailed to you

Should you have any difficulties with this process, please contact our ticket provider ‘Eventbrite’ using this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/support

Affordable Art Fair is a global family of fairs in ten cities around the world from Hamburg to Hong Kong, New York to London and now Sydney. The fair helps people discover the joy or collecting art and there will be thousands of original artworks priced between $100 and $10,000. 

If you would like more information about the programme please to check out their website 

My paintings for this exhibition are centred around a different palette from the bright florals I exhibited last December in my solo show Drawn to Nature. This body of work falls into the theme Grounded. My palette is far more earthy as I look at rocks, pebbles, tree roots, fallen leaves and dried plants. Here are some sections of a few paintings I've been working on.


This is part of a large painting inspired by rust. The title is Rust,Transposed. Largely watercolour on huge sheets of 640gsm watercolour paper, it also incorporates ink, watercolour pencils, gouache and pastel. The original image of rust on a pole becomes more like a volcanic landscape.












This detail from a full sheet watercolour painting River Stones, Daintree explores a favourite subject - stones and pebbles - that I've painted, drawn or etched since my teenage years. I love trying to capture the exact colours, cracks, crevices and textures of these many and varied stones. I sat on these river stones while sketching the rainforest then a visited the area a few years ago.







This detail is from the painting Grounded. It is a full sheet watercolour painting, and a largely tonal study of one of my favourite trees - a Morton Bay Fig in the Sydney Botanic Gardens. I've painted, etched and sketched this tree, and others like it, many times too. This shows the tree from a different direction. The full painting shows the embrace of the root system in the ground.








For those in Sydney - I hope to see you there. Now - back to my painting table :-)

For the full images of these and other work form this year, see my website here.

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Mastering Watercolours online course


I've just begun a run-through of Mastering Watercolours, my 13-lesson online course (including the huge introductory lesson) that delves deeply into watercolour - how to mix it, how to control it and how to paint with it using a range of techniques. It's a huge course that can be completed entirely at your own pace at any time. 

However for those who like to have a sense of a community going through together, now is a great time to dive in and begin, or to do it all over again!

I'll be concentrating on each lesson for the one or two week period as scheduled here. That means I'll be checking each section of each lesson in detail - commenting, answering questions etc on a far more detailed and daily basis. I do a run-though of each of my courses once a year.

Introduction from 9th March

Lesson 1 from 16th March

Lesson 2 from 23rd March

Lesson 3 from 30th March

Lesson 4 from 6th April

Lesson 5 from 13th April

Lesson 6 from 20th April (two weeks)

Lesson 7 from 4th May (two weeks)

Lesson 8 from 18th May (two weeks)

Lesson 9 from 1st June (two weeks)

Lesson 10 from 15th June (two weeks)

Lesson 11 from 29th June (two weeks)

Lesson 12 from 13th July (two weeks)

See you there!

(Anyone already registered just needs to log into their Ruzuku account or click on the link of any of my course newsletters.)

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

ShinHan Designer Gouache



There are 72 colours in the new ShinHan Professional Designer Gouache range, available in single 15ml tubes or in 12 or 24-colour sets. I received the Set B of 24 Designers Gouache tubes from ShinHan to try. 

The colour chart and tube labels detail the pigments used, along with a lightfast rating where * is for low lightfastness,  and **** is the highest. There is also a letter indicating the price series with A being the lowest and E the highest price. The only ingredients mentioned are pigment and gum Arabic.


I have painted them out over a permanent black line to show the degree of opacity of this set. While all are labelled as opaque, some cover the line more completely than others when used in a creamy consistency. The top square of each swatch shows the more diluted wash of gouache.

The Quinacridone Red is made with the PR254 pigment, usually known as pyrrol red - probably the most true mid-red pigment. It looks slightly too crimson here on my screen. Cadmium Red is actually more of a scarlet or orange-red than it looks on my screen. The other colours in this row are close to true, though the Jaune Brilliant is slight more peachy in reality. Reds, oranges and yellows are always difficult to capture correctly.

ShinHan Designer Gouache: Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Red, Permanent Yellow Deep, Naples Yellow,
Jaune Brilliant, Moss Green

The colours are fairly true in the next two rows.
ShinHan Designer Gouache: Terre Verte, Permanent Green Deep, Blue Green, 
Turquoise Green, Cobalt Green, Shadow Green

ShinHan Designer Gouache: Peacock Blue, Cobalt Blu, Ultramarine Deep, Indigo, Hydrangea Blue, Lilac

The Magenta is much brighter than it appears on my screen and the Pink actually looks more like the colour of a pink highlighter, but neither show up on my screen. I don't think any of these purple colours would be lightfast enough to use outside of a sketchbook, or for work created for reproduction.

ShinHan Designer Gouache: Cobalt Violet, Magenta, Pink, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Sepia



I was also sent tubes of the primary yellow, magenta and blue along with Primary White and Primary Black. This set of 5 would create a vast range of colours. Also here are the metallic and pearlescent colours and an additional black and white. The colours are fairly true though the sheen is less visible of course.

ShinHan Designer Gouache: Primary Yellow, Primary Magenta, Primary Cyan, Primary Black,
Primary White, Pearl White

ShinHan Designer Gouache: Peral Gold, Rich Gold, Silver, Peal Copper, Ivory Black, Permanent White

Like most designer gouache, these are largely quite flat and matte when painted out in a creamy strength. It would be possible to put together a workable warm and cool primary set with black, white and a few useful earth pigments to explore these paints further.

Note: For some reason I am currently unable to reply to comments and questions on my blog. Sorry to those who have asked questions and not had a response. Hopefully I'll solve the issue soon.